Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Kamran Abbasi appointed as editor in chief of The BMJ

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 15 December 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n3084

Rapid Response:

Re: Kamran Abbasi appointed as editor in chief of The BMJ

Dear Editor

For several reasons it is a pleasure to welcome the appointment of Kamran Abbasi as editor in chief of the BMJ. I celebrate Kamran's appointment for two reasons in particular. First, twenty years ago, soon after his appointment as editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM), Kamran offered to republish articles on the history of medicine which had been written for and published in the James Lind Library (JLL). An article by Richard Doll on the history of factorial trials began a successful monthly series of republished JLL articles in the JRSM, and this arrangement continues to this day. As the articles editor at the JLL, I have greatly appreciated Kamran's 'light touch' support for the collaboration he proposed, which appears to have resulted in a win-win situation.

The other specific reason that I welcome Kamran's appointment as the BMJ's editor in chief is that I remember the racism that he experienced, in 2004 while he was the journal's acting editor (see Delamothe BMJ 2009;338:b500). It is very positive that the BMA and BMJ have appointed the first person from an ethnic minority to be editor of one of the four most respected international medical journals. I wish Kamran continued fortitude in dealing with the tribal politics and racism which sadly remain among us.


Iain Chalmers

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 January 2022
Iain Chalmers
Articles editor, James Lind Library
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Department of Primary Care, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford OX2 6GG